[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Resident Season 5 finale “Neon Moon.”]
Conrad (Matt Czuchry) is ready to move on after losing his wife, Nic (Emily VanCamp), and by the end of The Resident Season 5 finale, he’s made a choice between Billie (Jessica Lucas) and Cade (Kaley Ronayne). We just don’t know who.
That comes after flashbacks to a date night for Conrad and Nic — courtesy of a return by VanCamp — one that ends with him telling her to move on if she loses him because she deserves happiness. She makes him promise to do so, too. Elsewhere in the finale, Kit (Jane Leeves) and Bell (Bruce Greenwood) celebrate their engagement, Devon (Manish Dayal) and Leela (Anuja Joshi) get back together, and Padma (Aneesha Joshi) finds out she and AJ (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) are having twins. Plus, Ian (Andrew McCarthy) has a tumor, but Bell and Leela remove it and he’s cancer-free.
Co-showrunner Andrew Chapman breaks down the finale and teases Season 6.
What was the story you wanted to tell with the flashbacks? You want to honor Conrad and Nic, but you’re also setting up his future love story.
Andrew Chapman: Ever since we lost Nic, it really shaped thematically what the season was about. [It] was about grief and mortality and being able to accept those things and move on with your life. The entire arc for Conrad starting from Episode 3 when he lost Nic, going all the way forward is a winding story about those things. When we found out that Emily was available to come back and shoot some flashbacks, we jumped at the chance. We thought the audience would love it, and we really thought that it would give a nice, emotional relationship closure to Nic and Conrad, but for Conrad, it would allow him to finally put that relationship behind him, to honor it, and to free him up to move on in the world and move on in his life. We just loved that. So it was really lucky for us that she was available, that her baby was old enough that she could leave, and Emily VanCamp was willing to do it and so gracious in doing it.
I love the glimpses of when they met over billiards.
I know, they look so young!
Has Conrad made a decision? Should we read into him being a bit closer to Cade before shifting towards the middle?
You should not read into anything you see there, but yes, he’s made a decision and we’ve made a decision in the writer’s room. We really wanted to leave that decision to the start of Season 6, because we wanted this season to be about the closure that all of those flashbacks offered us. That decision will be surprising, and we have a really interesting way to unfold it and the story that follows.
What can you say about his feelings when it comes to his decision?
It’s a really complicated decision. Both of these women have pros and cons in the world of relationships. Cade is very similar to Conrad and a risk-taker and an action figure. Billie is maternal and warm and she’s already been a mother and she’s gone through so much with her estranged son and coming back from that. They both pose really wonderful opportunities for Conrad and for his heart. They also have, like all of us, their character flaws that he would have to live with, so I think he’s gone through those things and has very strong feelings and you’ll see them in the beginning of Season 6.
Was it always the plan to end the season with Kit and Bell engaged versus a wedding?
At the beginning of the season, we knew we wanted to either have them decide to get married or be married. We just weren’t sure which, and it turned out that it made more sense for them to have this decision and a big party and it fit better to hold off the wedding until next season. We just love their relationship. We love how they tease each other and support each other.
We always knew that Bell was gonna get sick and that Kit would support him. We love the idea that Kit is just a badass boss of the hospital and people come to her for advice and for decisions and she just makes these really strong, secure decisions and Bell supports her in doing that. Everything about their relationship is gold. Jane Leeves and Bruce Greenwood, they’re just spectacular together. I think I’ve said this to you before, they, as people, really adore each other. They love working with each other. They’re so funny and friendly on set together and it’s infectious. You go, “Oh my God, these guys are great. We want to see them as a couple.” And I think the audience loves them.
So we’ll see the wedding, right?
We haven’t 100 percent figured that out. We probably will see it in Episode 1.
Bell’s planning for a future where he can no longer operate, while Kit’s more optimistic. Who has the better perspective based on how Bell is health-wise?
That’s a really good, complicated question. We picked multiple sclerosis as a chronic disease because it both can attack you in your life, but you can also deal with it and be the person you want to be while dealing with this chronic disease. We’re trying to be really careful about that. Bruce Greenwood has been very, very meticulous in his research and trying to figure out exactly when and how to show the effects of the disease on his ability to be a doctor. What we want to do is respect the MS community and the struggles that they have, and Bell is going to struggle with it.
He’s not just moving on from surgery because of MS. He’s also moving on from surgery because he’s been this doctor for a long time and Season 6 will be about him, in a way, passing the torch to other surgeons to become great and to teach them. It’s also just who he is and his age. All of our seasons have, in a way, been about the arc of Dr. Bell. He started as this really almost villainous guy who covered up a death in the OR, and now he’s redeemed himself and become this teacher and this guy who wants to do good, and that’s the arc of the show in a way. It’s such a complicated thing, who has the better perspective. It’s more they support each other and will move into the future trying to respect MS and also what it is to be an older doctor who brings other people into the field.
Devon and Leela are back together. She still doesn’t know if she wants kids, and he turned down that job. How stable is their future?
We’ve always wanted [that] relationship to supplant the Nic-Conrad relationship when Nic died and Emily left the show, so this was good soap. We really wanted to show the ways in which it’s hard for a female doctor, a female surgeon to be ambitious, work really hard, and to have stable relationships, and to try to figure out what to do about having a family, because it’s so complicated. We wanted to respect and honor that. We want to continue to respect and honor that. We want them to be a stable, loving relationship at the heart of the show. We’re gonna continue to build to that, but they each have their ambitions and we’re a doctor-centric show, not a patient-centric show, so we always are looking to see what the problems are for the doctors. One is Leela’s desire to have kids or not have kids. The other is Devon’s a superstar now, getting courted by all these people. How does that impact their relationship? They’re gonna have a loving relationship, but it’s not gonna be without its bumps.
Is Andrew McCarthy sticking around in a major capacity?
We love him. We think he’s really great. We love his turn on the show so far. We want to bring him back. We love the soap between him and Cade, father and daughter working in the same hospital. We think that’s really fun and interesting. He plays the sort of narcissistic ambitious surgeon so well [and] we have little hints of character flaws. He’s had a disease, but he also has an issue with painkillers. There’s all kinds of juicy stuff that we can play going forward. Is this a guy who has addiction issues and will he be the superstar doctor moving forward? We intend to keep him. We think he’s done a great job. We think he’s really charismatic.
He’d be a series regular?
He’d be a series regular.
AJ and Padma are having twins. What do you imagine for their relationship and as parents?
We really want to make this about AJ more than about Padma, he’s the doctor and she’s not. He has to figure out how to be a father and yet not too overbearing. He’s an overbearing character. He’s just bigger than life. We love the idea that they’re in a relationship that’s father and mother, but not a couple. That’s such a juicy, complicated, interesting thing, especially when you pair it with Devon and Leela, who are a couple but don’t have kids and Devon wants kids and Leela doesn’t.
The Resident, Season 6, TBA, Fox